Let's start by talking about "why" to oil cleanse.
Oil tends to be a 4-letter word when it comes to facial care, especially for those with acne-prone skin. In actuality, oils (aka lipids or fats) are produced by our bodies and are absolutely crucial for our skin to function optimally. The problems arise when our bodies over-produce it, under-produce it, or we don’t cleanse our skin well (either not cleansing deeply enough, or over cleansing).
The basic premise behind the oil cleansing method (ocm) is the chemistry principle of “like dissolves like”. With OCM you remove the grime, dirt, dead skin cells, make-up and so on which build up on your skin over the day, and replace them immediately with clean nourishing oils. Because you’re using nourishing organic oils to do this, the lipid barrier of your skin is enhanced and strengthened, rather than damaged.
When using a water-based cleanser or store-bought soaps, the naturally-occurring oils are stripped from your skin leaving it exposed and vulnerable and in need of toner and moisturizer to bring it back into balance. As well, your face immediately knows that the oil has been stripped away and so kicks into overdrive to make more oil! With the oil-cleansing method, there is no need to use a toner afterwards, or additional moisturizer – everything you need is in one bottle and the balance of your skin is maintained.
Next up, is the "what" - the ingredients in Radiance.
Radiance contains a blend of organic sunflower oil, organic castor oil, and organic camellia seed oil - in varying proportions for dry, average, and oily skin.
You can customize it further through the addition of essential oils. All three essential oil options contain frankincense, lavender, and geranium for their many skin-beneficial properties. The oily essential oil blend also has sweet orange oil; average essential oil blend has palmarosa oil; mature essential oil blend has patchouli oil. Or if you are concerned in any way about using essential oils you can request to leave them out.
Now that you know the "what" & the “why”, let’s talk “how”:
Gently massage 1-2mL of oil into the face for 1-2 minutes.
If you are wearing makeup you don’t need to remove it prior to using ocm. If you have stubborn eye makeup (especially mascara) you can close your eyes and work some of the oil into your lashes first then gently wipe it away with a clean soft cloth or cotton ball. Once the mascara is removed, proceed with the rest of your oil cleansing.
I find that a quarter teaspoon (1.25mL) is sufficient personally, but if you have a larger face or want a more ‘luxurious’ experience, you could try a scant half teaspoon (about 2mL). Or just pour a little into your cupped hand until you get a sense for how much you prefer. Using 1.25mL per wash will give you nearly 100 washes from the bottle.
Gently massage the oil into your face – focusing on any areas that are particularly clogged or dirty. You can rub a little onto your lips. You can also delicately wipe some oil on the undereye area and the eyelids. Massage using gentle circular upward strokes.
Some people get bored after 30 seconds. Others prefer a good long face massage to stimulate circulation and get a deep clean. In any case, 2 minutes is plenty.
Wet a large washcloth with hot water and wring out, allowing to cool until comfortably warm.
You’ll want a cloth that covers your entire face. It should be soft and made of natural fibers like cotton. A cotton flannel or basic terry loop washcloth works well. Microfiber cloths or cotton polyester blends are not a good choice. The wet cloth needs to be warm enough to generate a little steam to lift the dirty oil up out of your pores. Too hot though and you will both irritate and dry out your skin. This is really a matter of personal experience and preference.
Place cloth over face and allow to cool completely.
This is a great time to breathe deep and inhale the calming aromatic vapours created by the essential oil blend in your cleansing oil.
Repeat with warm cloths as desired,
Feel free to repeat this steaming step once more for average skin, or even a couple times if you’re going for a deep clean. Use the clean side of a cloth for each steam (ie you can use each side of the washcloth once). If your skin is very dry or sensitive then one steam is probably enough.
…then use a clean wet cloth to wipe the face well.
Get a fresh clean warm cloth (or use the clean corners of a cloth you’ve used for steaming) and gently wipe the oil from your face. Pay extra attention to your hairline, jawline, and eyebrows, so that excess oil is not left on your skin in these easy-to-overlook areas.
If you wish, you can give your face a splash of cold water to close the pores.
If your skin feels tight or dry, take a tiny drop of the oil and massage it well into the dry skin.
Don’t leave oil sitting on the surface of your skin. Next time you oil cleanse, try using slightly cooler (but still warm) water, or doing fewer steams.
How often you use the oil cleansing method is really a matter of personal preference.
Some love the nightly ritual, while others find that they only need to oil cleanse every 2 or 3 days, or on days they have worn makeup, and washing with tepid or warm water only and a soft towel is sufficient in between. If you feel like water only in between isn’t enough, you can use alcohol-free witch hazel to wipe your skin with. It is not generally considered a wise choice to alternate oil cleansing with traditional water-based cleansers, but if your skin is actually dirty and needs some regular-type cleansing, I recommend an all natural cold-process soap like Butter Baby. All-natural cold process soap contains natural fats and glycerin so that the skin can be cleansed of surface dirt without stripping all the oils from the lipid barrier of the skin.
The castor oil used in the base blend is very ‘drawing’, and some people may experience a detoxification effect initially in the form of pimples or whiteheads as deeper grime is drawn to the surface. Be sure to drink plenty of water, preferably with fresh squeezed lemon, to help your body in the detoxification process.
Aside from the potential for an initial detoxification effect, be sure to wipe your face well with a clean warm cloth so that no oil is left sitting on the surface of your skin, and if you use a little extra oil for moisture after cleansing, be sure to massage it in thoroughly so that it isn’t sitting on your skin either.
In days gone by, 'housewives' knew that you always washed your linens in hot water to get them truly clean. With today's concerns over energy consumption though, many households only cold water wash. Regular cold water washing won't cut it when it comes to getting your oil-covered washcloths clean. The oil will eventually start to build up in the cloths and then you're just redepositing old oil onto your skin. Ick.
You have a few options to get around this:
1. Hot water wash of your washcloths & towels. Believe me, they WILL come out way cleaner no matter what the cold water detergent advertisers say.
2. Give your cloths a handscrub with dishsoap and hot water after each use before tossing them in the laundry then cold water wash as usual.
3. Follow the method here.
Want to know more about what others have to say on Oil Cleansing? Crunchy Betty will get you started AND keep you going for a while if you keep following all the links.
If you'd like to know more about the lipid barrier of the skin, I found this article helpful.
Have questions, comments, concerns or want to place an order? Leave a comment on this post, use the contact form on the homepage, send me an email, or find me on facebook. I'll help as best I can. You can also order directly through the product page of my website if you want to have it shipped.